Final grades: Green Bay Packers rookie class

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Datone Jones: First round pick – C+

Datone Jones
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

For a first-rounder, I think that fans were hoping to see instant results out of Jones. He didn’t come in and make a difference right away like everyone was hoping.

However, he was scouted as a guy that would need a little bit of work at defensive end in the Packers scheme, and started coming on stronger toward the end of the season. I think the rookie year went as well for Jones as could be expected under the circumstances. His snap count started out mild, but steadily increased as injuries plagued the defensive end and the linebacker corps.

Jones was drafted as a run-stuffer with the agility and burst off the edge to rush the passer. He was especially good at stopping the read-option in college, and was brought in to develop more in that area.

Jones gets a C+ for his rookie season because he didn’t do anything spectacular to start the season. He was still experiencing growing pains up until the end, but he gains respect for being flexible. He became more comfortable in the system and totaled 3.5 sacks overall. With injuries depleting the linebackers, Jones was asked to play out of position for a lot of the playoff loss to San Francisco. He showed resilience and potential to be a foundation piece for the future defensive line.

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